I took myself on an Artist’s Date today, after spending some time yesterday evening quietly reflecting on where I’m at in my life. I felt a major shift come over me in terms of the who’s, what’s, where’s, when’s, why’s, and how’s of the life I’m currently living. A good and honest look at things revealed to me many answers to my questions of what is my life purpose, what are my goals, where do I find inspiration, who do I want to spend time with, etc. The questions seemed so big and yet the answers are so simple, it’s just a matter of me living them everyday, and also paying attention to how they show up. I think sometimes I can get so caught up in life and what I want to have that I forget that I already have everything I need. It’s all right in front of me. It’s the essence of who I really am, my source of inspiration and joy.
My favorite view across the lake
This is what led me to the woods today. It’s been ages since I stopped by to marvel at the sweeping limbs of the tall pine trees, to feel the breeze against my skin as it drifts across the lake, to turn off the constant chatter in my brain and tune into the bird songs that fill the forest. It’s all about the present moment and the beauty around me. Being in nature is where I feel like my truest and most authentic self. It’s where all of the drama of everyday life completely melts away, and all that’s left is peace. I can’t believe I haven’t gone on more adventures to the mountains and the forests since I moved back home, but after today I know it’s a priority. I need many more Artist’s Dates to the source of where my inspiration and creativity begins, even if it’s just once a month. My schedule can get filled up very quickly with all of the things I’d like to do (and some I don’t want to do but need to, for instance, adulting), but taking some time away from it all is the one thing that always brings me back home.
Ah, Thanksgiving, a holiday that I once thought of as a day off from school and an opportunity to eat too much mashed potatoes. This time of year is different for me now, as I live thousands of miles away from my family. I usually don’t know what I’m doing until a week before the holiday, when I get invited to some sort of Orphans’ Thanksgiving. Every holiday for the past eight years has been different, some with old or new friends, strange or traditional dishes, simple or extravagant parties. This time of year is always exciting, but it’s also taken on a new meaning to me personally.
The end of the year is a celebration of life’s bounty, and not just in terms of the food we gather around the table to enjoy with our loved ones. Whether spent socially or introspectively, it is a day of expressing gratitude for all of the blessings that have graced our lives, big or small, simple or grand. Today I’m grateful for my good health, a good job, the art I create and the opportunities to share it with the world. I have love from many friends and family, however far away they might be. I have warm clothes, a warm bed, and a solid roof over my head. I have easy access to healthy food and clean drinking water. I have also grown a lot in the past year, just by showing up to learn the lessons of personal healing and growth. The difference between the gratitude I feel this year compared to years past is that now I feel it all around me and within me. Gratitude for the physical and spiritual; for what can be seen, and what can be felt.
Happy day of gratitude to you and yours. However you spend the day, I hope you can include a few minutes of giving thanks for all of the blessings in your life.
How I just want to weave through this last inch and a half as fast as possible and finally be done with this weaving!
But I know from past experiences how disastrous this can be. My normal weaving pace is pretty slow and meditative as it is, I certainly wouldn’t ever win a tapestry weaving race if one existed. Now as I near the end of a piece I deliberately slow down and really notice what I’m doing, to enjoy the final stages of creating a work of art that I want others to enjoy as well. Hurrying to finish a piece only results in my being unhappy that I didn’t give it my best and dedicated intentions. I believe that when an artist puts their love and enjoyment for their medium into their work, it shows and the viewer can sense that. Of course if I have a deadline I’m going to have to win that race, but I’d rather not rush something I’ve already invested so much time and passion into.
This is my first post since returning from my vacation to central Oregon last month, and what an inspiring adventure it was…
With so much to see and do, the Hokett Loom didn’t get much use! Maybe next time…
I’ve lived in Oregon for 8 years now, and seeing all of this beauty surrounding me makes me so grateful I live in such a majestic place. I wish I could spend all of my days hiking to alpine lakes and visiting stunning waterfalls, soaking in all of that gorgeousness! But I have to go back to reality for now. I’ve been working diligently on the weaving for the past month and it’s coming along well. I’m slowly learning more about this medium through my own mistakes and curiosity, which maybe someday will turn into a book or something to help others who are trying to figure this tapestry weaving thing out. I have some incredible memories and images from this trip to inspire future weavings, and believe me there’s a lot brewing in that ol’ imagination of mine. Some serious painting is gonna happen once I finish this piece! But I’m getting ahead of myself… I still have a couple more slow and focused inches to go.